Remembrance Day: RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor

In humble appreciation of the contribution made by the members of Bomber Command to victory 1939 – 45

55,888 of whom gave their lives

Over the years, much attention has rightly focussed on the airmen and women who bravely served during the Battle of Britain and protected our land from the enemy. Less attention however,  has been given to those who flew bomber and maritime aircraft.

As Winston Churchill pointed out: “The fighters are our salvation but the bombers are our means of victory” Winston Churchill 1940

RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor

RAF Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, or more simply RAF Holme as it was also known, was an airfield located on-site here, the home of J.Rotherham.

sq76-holme No. 76 Squadron RAF board their transports at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor

Construction of RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor began in 1940 and was completed the following year. The airfield was built to Bomber Command’s Class-A standard and accommodating for some 2,000 personnel during its operation.  In commemoration of all those who have given their lives in service for Britain, we look at two squadrons that operated from here in Holme.

458 Squadron: “We Find and Destroy”

squadron-458 458 Squadron, Protville, Tunisia 1943

No 458 squadron of the Royal Australian Airforce (R.A.A.F), operated from Holme against the enemy from late 1941, consisting of Australian, British and Canadian airmen who served with a sense of both pride and achievement.

Equipped with the Vickers Wellington aircraft, the squadron’s first operation from Holme was a 10 aircraft mission that successfully attacked the docks of German occupied Amsterdam and Rotterdam despite unrelenting attacks from the ground. They served from Holme until 1942.

76 Squadron: “Resolute”

76 Sqn taken at RAF Finningley in April 1937 on reformation of the squadron in light bomber role

76 Sqn taken at RAF Finningley in April 1937 on reformation of the squadron in light bomber role

Squadron 76 were first formed during WWI and reformed in WWII as a Halifax unit for bomber command. Throughout their major operation from Holme along with squadrons 10 and 35, fourty two aircrew members never returned to base – a loss that was felt strongly amongst all three squadrons.

elIn June 1943, Squadron 76 moved to RAF Holme as part of a policy to allow the newly formed Canadian 6 Group to use the better equipped RAF stations that had been built pre-war. Elizabeth Clay recalls her time as a map officer with 76 Squadron when she was moved on to the Holme site: “Holme-Upon-Spalding-Moor proved to be just as bleak as we had feared —and this was only summer. The ‘waayfery’ lay at the end of a long lane, signposted to the ‘Land of Nod’. It was going to be a long bicycle ride getting on and off-duty”

 

We think some of us here at J.Rotherham can definitely sympathise with Elizabeth’s long bike rides! You can read her full story amongst a wide collection of memorabilia here at our fireplace showroom. We have on display an extensive collection of photographs and stories from the squadrons that served here on the Holme industrial estate.


J.Rotherham fireplaces have been keeping the homes of yorkshire warm for over 50 years, expertly hand crafted at our workshops here at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, East Yorkshire.

-Luxury British Fireplaces at great prices: made on-site at our 17 acre advanced manufacturing facility in Yorkshire.

-Full comprehensive service from consultation and design, to manufacture and installation.

-Over 70 exquisite, hand crafted stone fireplaces in contemporary and traditional styles.

-We have a beautiful selection of British and European Limestone choices, as well as wood and marble.

-3 exclusive J.Rotherham Fireplace ranges: the Signature Collection, Essential Collection and Contemporary Collection.

-A full range of heating appliances including; gas, electric, multi fuel and wood burning stoves as well as solid fuel, electric and gas fires.

J.Rotherham | call 0845 388 1927 | email [email protected] | The Old Airfield, Holme Industrial Estate, Skiff Lane, Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, York, North Yorkshire YO43 4BB